NPR : News

Filed Under:

Hostage In Pakistan Is Aid Expert

Play associated audio

Warren Weinstein, the American kidnapped in Pakistan who in a video released by al-Qaida over the weekend says he will die if President Obama does not go along with the terrorist network's demands, is an international aid expert who was taken hostage last August just 48 hours before he was due to leave Pakistan.

As NPR's Julie McCarthy has reported, "Weinstein is said to have lived in Pakistan at least six years, working with J.E. Austin, an international development consulting firm based in Virginia. Weinstein is reputed in the industry to be a veteran of development aid, which is what he was doing in Pakistan, according to the company."

He is "a former Peace Corps and U.S. aid official," ABC News adds.

The 70-year-old Weinstein, who is from Rockville, Md., says in the video that "my life is in your hands, Mr. President. If you accept the demands, I live. If you don't accept the demands, I die."

"In a video message posted on militant websites in December," The Associated Press says, "al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahri said Weinstein would be released if the United States stopped airstrikes in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen. He also demanded the release of all al-Qaida and Taliban suspects around the world."

According to the Los Angeles Times, "Pakistani officials have said they believe that Weinstein is being held somewhere in the country's volatile tribal region along the Afghan border, where al-Qaida militants and other Islamic extremist groups maintain strongholds. The 2-minute, 40-second video of Weinstein, released on Sunday, shows him dressed in a traditional Pakistani tunic as he calmly urges Obama to acquiesce to Al Qaeda's demands."

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Once Outlaws, Young Lords Find A Museum Home For Radical Roots

Inspired by the Black Panthers, the Young Lords were formed in New York City by a group of Puerto Rican youth in 1969. Their history is now on display in a new exhibition.
NPR

Europe's Taste For Caviar Is Putting Pressure On A Great Lakes Fish

Scientists say lake herring, a key fish in Lake Superior's food web, is suffering because of mild winters and Europe's appetite for roe. Some say the species may be at risk of "collapse."
WAMU 88.5

A Congressional Attempt To Speed The Development Of Lifesaving Treatments

Earlier this month, the House of Representatives passed the 21st Century Cures Act in a rare bi-partisan effort. The bill is meant to speed the development of lifesaving treatments, but critics warn it may also allow ineffective or even harmful drugs onto the market.

NPR

Some Google Street View Cars Now Track Pollution Levels

Google's already tested three of the pollution-sensor equipped cars in Denver, and is currently trying them out in the Bay Area.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.